As an SEO agency, over the years we have had many different requests for how to handle new clients and how they would like to pay for our services. The most popular one being that we should market their services for free and then take a commission whenever they sell a product that was directly connected to the work that we had done.
Typically, this scenario would probably never be of interest to most high end SEO agencies. If we ever really wanted to promote products for a commission we would just join one of the big affiliate networks like:
- Commission Junction
- Affiliate Window
And promote any one of thousands of products available with the benefit of having professionally designed affiliate tools to help us with sales. Whilst this particular pricing model seems like the wrong way to go for most agencies, there are it seems a few agencies that will do this for you (see graph below).
The other thing that we get regularly is comparison to poor low priced SEO services. Prospective clients will often say things like “Joe Blogs down the road will do my internet marketing for just £50 per month and he guarantees me 10 first page rankings for this”. First page rankings for £5 per keyword per month guaranteed, I dont thing so!!!
Have a look at this graph to see how agencies retainers stack up from one country to the next:
Many SEO agencies will quote a day rate for their services which is then broken down into hours i.e. £400 per day equals £50 per hour in an 8 hour day. What typically happens from here is that for every minute they spend on your work, whether in a meeting, on the phone, actually doing some SEO, the time is recorded up until you have spent your monthly budget. This practise is actually more prevalent within web design agencies than SEO companies but the practise of recording every bit of time spent on clients work is still a popular way for many agencies to be able to justify profitability by client.
If you are running an agency, how do you allocate clients work for the month? Is it as straight forward as: the client has paid for 2 day’s work this month so that is allocated to a member of staff to work on only that client for 2 full days?
In most cases when you take on a new client there are no additional major expenses like employment, computers etc… Therefore with overheads to some point fixed and with many SEO jobs only requiring time instead of a monetary investment, it is easy to over deliver for your clients, so why dont many of the top end agencies do this?
Recently a survey was done by SEOmoz regarding SEO pricing from different countries around the world. An infographic was put together by AYTM and the full results can be seen here: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/seo-pricing-costs-of-services